- Ansar Khan of MLive: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said they need a “right-handed shot” to improve their blueline. It will be one of their priorities this offseason, either through free agency or trade.
“Right-shot defensemen are at a premium in the league and I mean ones that can play on the point on the power play and get points,” general manager Ken Holland said.
“We’d like to get a right-handed shot defenseman. Can we make it happen? We’ll find out.”
They could fill from within with Alexey Marchenko or Ryan Sproul, but probably not for next season. Some right-handed pending UFAs and potential trade targets: UFAs Matt Niskanen (PIT), Dan Boyle (SJ), Marek Zidlicky (NJ), Derek Morris (PHO), Tom Gilbert (FLA) and Matt Greene (LA). Trade Candidates: Shea Weber (NSH), Tyler Myers (BUF), Dustin Byfuglien (WIN), Cody Franson (TOR) and Dennis Wideman (CAL).
- Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: Sharks head coach Todd McLellan last week.
“We can’t keep what we have, or at least keep the same approach. Something has to change,” Todd McLellan said on Friday. “It’s two years in a row losing to that team, and it’s a very good team, too. Let me make that very clear.”
It’s doubtful Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and their recently signed three-year, no-trade clause deals are moved. Logan Couture is still the face of the franchise. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is a cornerstone on their blueline. It’s unlikely that Dan Boyle is back as the Sharks are unlikely to offer a multi-year deal. Antti Niemi could backup Alex Stalock if they can’t find a taker for him. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns are intriguing and they could look to sell high on Pavelski. His five-year, $30 million extension with a limited no-trade clause kicks in this summer. They could look at moving Burns back to the point. If the Sharks could get a center to anchor their third line, they may be tempted to move either Pavelski or Burns. Could look for a defensman to fill Boyle’s void.
“What needs to be done for this organization is what’s right for the organization. Nobody is bigger than this organization. … We now have some very critical decisions to make,” Wilson said.
“They will be made, but again, it’ll be what’s right for this organization. This organization, this ownership group and our fans deserve that.”
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Panthers GM Dale Tallon has said he’ll be shopping their first overall draft pick this year. Cox wonders if the Maple Leafs, who hold the eighth overall, would be interested in trading up to No. 1. It make take a Jake Gardiner or Nazem Kadri.
- Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona: Former Sabres GM Darcy Regier’s name may be near the top of the Coyotes assistant GM list. He has ties to GM Don Maloney from their days with the Islanders in the early 90′s.